Ad
Ad
Ad
Archive

May 2019

Browsing

Nokia might be targeting rival companies with the rumored launch of its new VR assistant Viki

For those who don’t know, Nokia is finally making its highly-anticipated comeback in the smartphone market. The latest developments suggest that the former tech giant plans to comeback aggressively. Interestingly, the latest rumors suggest that Nokia is already testing a new virtual reality (VR) software which is designed to compete with the likes of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri and Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Cortana.

According to a new report from GSMInfo, the Finnish company aims to reclaim its former glory days with the launch of a new voice-activated VR assistant, currently dubbed as Viki. The same source has reported that Nokia officials have already filed for a patent regarding a new voice-activated VR assistant named as Viki. Also, GSMInfo has strongly hinted that this upcoming voice-activated VR software will be incorporated in Nokia’s upcoming flagship smart devices.

Even though, Nokia has remained very secretive regarding its highly-anticipated comeback in the smartphone market but recent speculation suggests that the company plans combine its data sources with digital knowledge, to create a highly-efficient voice-based interface for its upcoming smartphone projects.

Unfortunately, there is currently no additional information regarding Nokia’s upcoming VR software. Not only has the company so far failed to provide the tech world with a possible launch date regarding Viki, but the company has not even clearly mentioned in its patent filing whether Viki is a voice-activated VR assistant or not. However, the present details are currently pointing in such a direction.

Hence, the likes of Apple and Microsoft will undoubtedly be watching over their backs ahead of Nokia’s long-awaited comeback in the smartphone market. Stay tuned for more developments regarding the possible release of a new virtual reality assistant in the market

BTIG’s Richard Greenfield lists eight key investors concerns that Netflix managements needs to answer

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is scheduled to reported its second quarter earnings of fiscal year 2016 (2QFY16) financial results after the closing bell on Monday, July 18. Heading into the earnings, BTIG published a report on the subscription video on-demand (SVoD) leader, highlighting eight key investor concerns about the company.

Analyst Richard Greenfield reiterated his Buy rating, along with $150 price target on Netflix stock. The shares edged up 0.38% and closed the market at $98.39 on Friday. He highlighted eight biggest investor skepticisms that the management requires addressing during the earnings call.

Hulu

In May, Hulu announced that it is considering expanding beyond SVoD with a new over-the-top (OTP), virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) service which would provide bundle feeds from popular cable channels and broadcast TV. Mr. Greenfield thinks investors need to know if the vMPD success could put pressure on the leader in the US. He fears that consumers might shift from third-party SVoD offerings to Hulu, which may provide better TV experience than traditional MVPDs.

Disney

Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) introduced an ad-supported library content earlier this week, through a new section “Throwback” on its app WatchABC, raising eyebrows whether the media giant may create issues for Netflix if it decides to release its own SVoD platform. While this would take some years, it would result in Disney’s popular content leaving Netflix.

Inflation

The analyst is also concerned whether inflation in programming cost would affect the company’s free cash flow and margin target, especially because large number of companies is aggressively purchasing content around the world.

Addressing Failures

The research firm believes that investors worry that the management is not confessing programming failures. Despite some poor projects, its content spending incrementally increases.

Under-Amortization

There has been distress about Netflix for under-amortizing its content persistently for years and the company should convince investors that it is sufficiently amortizing its TV shows and movies.

Future Price Increases

While competitors like HBO and Amazon Prime are bringing streaming service with cheaper subscription prices, BTIG thinks that continuous price hikes may affect its subscriber numbers.

Abroad

Asian markets, like Japan and Indonesia, are difficult markets for Netflix due to lack of content in regional and local language. Investors would like to know if the service performs well in those countries.

Bandwidth Usage

With increasing domestic competitors, Mr. Greenfield believes that bandwidth usage of Netflix must have declined.

Analysts look past the iPhone 7 and show interest in the next iteration of the smartphone

In a note issued to investors, Credit Suisse weighed in on the soon to be announced Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 7. The company is all set to unveil its seventh series on September 7, but the Street analysts are more interested in the next iteration of AAPL, the iPhone 8. Kulbinder Garcha of Credit Suisse believes the product cycle of the iPhone 7 to be muted soon due to limited innovation and growth. It will be followed by super product cycle of the iPhone 8, according to the analyst.

Mr. Garcha said that the investors are currently focusing on exactly how large will be Apple’s iPhone 8 Super Cycle. According to his “installed base” analysis, iPhone units would trough in 2016 at 207 million, before escalating to nearly 250 million by 2018. The rise would be primarily driven by a quick “replacement rate of 30 months in 2018 from 32 months in 2017.”

The analyst further said that innovation is unlikely to drive the success of super cycle as most of the Android devices are already offering the features expected from the iPhone. He said: “Apple has historically trailed Android in terms of specs, but the strong ecosystem and retention rates have always driven a strong upgrade cycle (e.g. the larger screen on the iPhone 6).”

However, the firm yet believes Apple’s risk reward arguments to remain strong, despite anticipating the near-term product cycle to be weak. The firm sees a “trough valuation of P/E ex-cash of ~8.5x and add back ~$13/share of fully taxed net cash, suggesting support at $97.” Given an installed base and services growth that could reach nearly 1.4 billion in long term, Credit Suisse sees sustainable free cash flows of $37 billion with a $150 price valuation.

Apple’s market capitalization is $567.32 billion. The company has a 12.39 price to earnings ratio, while the stock has a 52 week high of $123.82, and a 52 week low of $89.47.

Wells Fargo is trying to save its investment by offering to talk with tribal elders

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) has been in trouble lately due to its accounting scandal. The banking giant is one of those which have invested in the North Dakota access pipeline. The pipeline has been a subject of protests as local tribes and other people oppose to it. The California-based banking giant has offered to talk with tribal leaders from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe regarding the stance of the bank in the pipeline.

More than a dozen financial institutions have invested in the pipeline. Banks such as Citigroup and Bank of America have made investments in the pipeline along with Wells Fargo. The involvement of Bank of America was quoted as one of the main reasons for the protests which erupted in September.

The financial giant sent out letters to the protesters. It has most of its largest employee hub in Charlotte. Wells Fargo has offered to hold a meeting with “select tribal elders” before the start of 2017 and it said in the letter that it respects various opinions highlighted in the dispute.

The bank has taken the brunt of the recent scandal as its share price has declined. Wells Fargo has also been effected as various depositors have lost confidence in the bank. Wells Fargo has around a 5% stake in the pipeline. There are, in total, 17 banks which have provided the funding.

If the bank is able to succeed in negotiations with protestors, it would help reduce its risk for investment in the pipeline. It is expected that the stock price would be positively influenced by this. It can also be expected that other stakeholders would also join hands with the bank to solve concerns of the tribes.

The stock price fell 1.4% in the last session on Friday as it closed at $53.58. The stock price for the bank has been falling since the beginning of December.

Tesla owners in Russia opened their own service center to overcome some of the problems of owning a Model S

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) vehicle owners living in country where it currently does not operate face several challenges. Apart from high duties, they do not have access to the automaker’s service centers and Supercharger network, as well as lack of over-the-air (OTA) updates and Autopilot, as they require Internet access. When Tesla enters a market, it sorts out all these problems itself.

Electrek reported that a group of 300 Tesla owners in Russia have come together to overcome some of the problems themselves, as they have invested in their own service center to support servicing of Tesla Roadsters and Model S. Apart from offering all the maintenance services and repairs, the location can get a SIM-card for Tesla cars for Internet access.

Moscow Tesla Club President, Igor Antarov said during a Tesla Motors Club (TMC) Connect presentation that the only other alternative would have been to send the cars to other European countries, such as Austria, Finland or Germany, to get service until Tesla officially opens a service location in Russia. However, they thought opening their own service station in Moscow was a better idea.

Here’s a video of Mr. Antarov speaking at the TMC Connect:

According to Electrek, Tesla initially planned to launch in Russia this year, as its 2016 Supercharger Map marked a few locations for fast-DC charging stations in the country. Though, it seems like the launch has been delayed likely due to its expansion in existing European markets.

After waiting for Tesla to arrive for a few years, the Russian owners have developed own growth plans through the Moscow Tesla Club. The club plans to organize vents to promote Tesla cars in the region and expand their organization with more wealthy natives.

Currently, there is only one Supercharger location in Russia at the billionaire Roman Abrohimohiv’s Skolkovo golf club near Moscow. The four-stall charging station was opened in April.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Lenovo’s ThinkPad 13 are two of the best available laptops

Both Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Lenovo have done a brilliant job in delivering two of the best laptops currently available on the market. If you are on the lookout for a top of the line laptop and cannot decide between the Surface Pro 4 and Lenovo ThinkPad 13, then we are here to make your decision easier. Both these devices offer top notch specifications and processing power but which one should you invest your hard earned bucks on?

Microsoft’s current Surface Pro is one of the most impressive and best available laptops on the market. The Surface Pro 3 was an excellent laptop itself but Microsoft went all out for its fourth generation Surface Pro. What sets the Surface Pro 4 apart from the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is its ingenious design that allows the Surface Pro 4 to be used as a laptop or as a tablet. The design allows users to attach a keyboard to the Surface Pro 4 which converts the tablet into a full functioning laptop. Although the keyboard for the Surface Pro 4 is sold separately but it gives it a major advantage over the Lenovo ThinkPad 13, which is solely a laptop. If you like flexibility from your laptop, then we would suggest you go for the Surface Pro but that will cost you a bit extra due to the separately sold keyboard.

The Surface Pro 4 sports an impressive 12.3-inch Full HD display screen that is simply a joy to work on. The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 offers a slightly larger 13.3-inch display screen that offer lower resolutions than the Surface Pro 4’s display screen. Although the difference in pixels is barely noticeable through the naked eye but the Surface pro offers more stunning colors and better viewing experience. Both laptops are powered by Core series processors, although the high-end version of the Surface Pro 4 runs on Core i7 but the ThinkPad does not offer more than Core i5 processor. Both devices offer the option of RAM up to 16 GB which ensures a smooth and snappy user experience. Another advantage of the Surface Pro is that it offers maximum onboard storage of 1TB but the Lenovo ThinkPad does not offer users more than 512 GB storage. We should probably mention that the Surface Pro 4 comes equipped with a Stylus that is not available on the Lenovo ThinkPad 13. Unlike the Surface pro 4, Lenovo ThinkPad 13 offers a USB type C port which gives it fast charging capability. Lenovo ThinkPad offers a basic 720p web camera but the Surface Pro 4 goes significantly beyond that and offers an 8 MP back camera capable of recording videos at 1080p and a 5 MP front facing camera.

You should have figured it out by now that the Lenovo ThinkPad is no match for the brilliance of the Surface Pro 4 but that was always expected due to the significant difference in the price tag of the two devices. The Surface pro 4 can cost you as much as $1,800 but the high end version of the ThinkPad 13 will only cost you $548. If you can afford to then definitely go for the Surface Pro 4 but if you are not willing to spend that much on a laptop, then the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is a capable alternative.

The Country Caller takes a look at BP’s decision to not increase Capex for current year

In the aftermath of oil crash, many exploration & production (E&P) companies trimmed their capital expenditures (Capex). Similar is the case with BP plc (ADR) (NYSE: BP), which in June last year stated that it would keep its Capex between $15-17 billion if the oil prices continue to remain low.

However, oil prices have recovered since then, and have been trading above $50 a barrel for past couple of months. Still, BP has presented its plan to keep its Capex at $16 billion. This might seem strange, as higher spending would mean higher production in future, and with higher realized prices, it would just be better for the company.

The rig count data is on rise, and depicts that exploration activity is picking up pace. Even Schlumberger CEO stated that E&P activities would increase by 30% in North American region this year.

The Country Caller believes the decision is a step in the right direction since BP is currently suffering from the aftermath of oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, costing it billions of dollars. Increasing Capex would result in cash burn and offset the possible increase in the British company’s topline numbers due to higher realized prices.

As for the long-term production plans, BP is reportedly working on asset sales program, but still not in dire need of Capex to increase production. So far, the company has plans to initiate operations at six of its projects this year, which are expected to keep its production numbers intact.

It’s very important for the British E&P major to preserve liquidity due to volatile nature of oil prices along with cash burn in the lieu of oil spill. We advise investors as well as BP to sit back and enjoy higher oil price.

Microsoft is adding a whole lot of new features to its Skype bots in order to boost its popularity and increase the overall usage of the app

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is adding a lot of functionality to its chatbots on Skype. Chatbots are increasing in popularity and around 30,000 developers have signed on to develop their own unique chatbots ever since Microsoft announced the Skype bot platform in March.

Chatbots isn’t something that has really caught on yet but it’s showing signs of growing on people, especially through the Facebook Messenger app. Now Skype isn’t nearly as popular as the Messenger app which has around 900 million users (Skype has around 300 million*) and it’s trying to increase its user base by adding bells and whistles that may appeal to the masses.

Chatbots are basically automated answering machines. You can type in questions, statements and even friendly greetings and get replies. Microsoft is trying to up the game by getting developers to build bots that do more than just that. Some examples are getting bots to reply using emojis and GIFs and pictures and cards.

Added functionality will allow bots to engage in group chats and allow for collective games to be played online, what these will be is totally up to the developers. They could range from a game of scrabble or crossword puzzles to Yahtzee or Checkers. That could yield tournaments and make use of Skype like never before. Skype bots can also be used to hand over digital receipts after your purchases.

What’s more is that bots can actually help a lot of people that are lost on the internet. Like tourists who want directions can ask the bot to guide them through a new city and the bot can offer up Google maps, links to the best restaurants, cinemas and clubs. Or if people want to check in to a certain hotel, the Skype bot of that hotel can help them book a room there and if the hotel chain is supported by Microsoft, the user won’t even have to jump out of the Skype app. Instead they’ll be able to sign up and pay right there.

“Microsoft has brought together the Skype Bot developer tools and the Microsoft Bot Framework into one environment which we’re calling the Microsoft Bot Framework V3. You can now develop bots which use new Skype platform features – such as visual cards and group bots – and publish to multiple channels from one place.”

-Official Statement from Microsoft.com

The Skype apps will be available with these new features by the end of July this year.

Skype for Linux

Microsoft is holding a Q&A session on Wednesday, July 13 and the latest is that it will have something to do with the future of the app on the Linux platform. The last time that the app was updated for a stable release on Linux was two years ago, with Skype 4.3. Now Microsoft will either release a new stable update or scrap the application from Linux altogether. What supports the latter is that Microsoft has recently enabled voice calls on the Chrome OS and Linux platforms and has switched out its proprietary tech for a standardized web tech.

The drugmaker is stepping forward in order to clinch more therapeutic areas with label expansion and mobile applications technology

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) is working on multiple aspects to cover the pulmonary diseases. In association to this, the company has announced that it will work with an Australian program in association with Adherium in later part of the year.  

Adherium will be providing Smartinhalers for the clinical study that will commence in 2016. The main aim of the program is utilize Adherium’s mobile applications as well as cloud platform in order to prove their vitality in the patient’s compliance suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and allied ailments. 

The biotech is planning to enroll the volunteers in the near future as the clinical trial is yearlong. Approximately 380 people with COPD will be divided into two groups and both groups will be treated with Symbicort delivered via BreatheMate. The BreatheMate will monitor the drug use and send results via phone to the cloud. One group will be eligible to receive daily notifications of the drug monitoring, while the other group will not in order to sort out the role of the BreatheMate in patient’s compliance.

The main role of BreatheMate is to sort out the breathing pattern of the patient, which will help in the assessment of the disease progression as well as treatment options.

The market of respiratory care devices is growing slowly and steadily with single digit Computed Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) as the factors involved in the growth include increase in pulmonary ailments such as respiratory failure, COPD, asthma, sleep apnea, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.

Adherium’s Group CEO Garth Sutherland said: “This program is an important milestone; adherence rates in patients with asthma or COPD are low, and clinical trials have demonstrated that our platform can make a significant difference for patients and health care professionals. Adherium is supplying the technology for this program under a long-term Master Supply and Development Agreement already entered into with AstraZeneca.” 

Adherium is working on the development of digital health portfolios such as to assess the patient’s medication use and overall assessment of the patient’s condition after chronic disease. The company is involved in manufacturing softwares, which will aid in the direct monitoring of disease related problems. The company has global exposure and is presently working in the US, Europe and Australia. The company’s novel platform, Smartinhaler™ is one of the leading players in providing patient’s compliance in medication for chronic respiratory disease.

Gain root access to your HTC 10 with this easy-to-follow tutorial

Rooting is the process of gaining root permissions for your Android device. Rooting your phone opens up a world of possiblities in terms of customization and tweaking and it allows you to have complete control over your device. If you’re a power user, you’ll be surprised to see the world of possibilities that opens up once you root your smartphone. And now, you can root the latest HTC flagship, the HTC 10 with this simple to follow guide.  

Note: Please ensure to backup the contents of your device before starting with this procedure. Even though this process doesn’t wipe the files, errors can occur sometimes so it’s better to be prepared. 

What You Need:- 

An HTC 10 with an unlocked bootloader and a custom recovery installed 

USB Debugging enabled on the device. The option can be enabled from Developer Options. 

SuperSU ZIP File. Download here. 

Procedure:- 

Step 1: First of all, you need to download the latest version of SuperSU and save it to your computer. This is the file which we’ll be using to gain root access. 

Step 2: Connect your HTC 10 to the computer using a USB data cable.  

Step 3: Copy the SuperSU Zip file to the root of your device’s internal storage. 

Step 4: In order to flash the file, you’ll need to enter Recovery mode on your device. To do this, first power off your device. Hold Volume Down + Power to boot your device into Download mode. Select the option Reboot to Bootloader and from the subsequent menu, select Recovery Mode

Step 5: In recovery, navigate to the Install menu and select the Zip file from your internal storage. Swipe right to confirm the flash when prompted. 

Once the flash completes in a few seconds, reboot your device. And that’s it. You device will now boot with rooted access. If your device has been successfully rooted, you’ll see a new SuperSU app on your device. Download any root checker app from the Play Store to confirm your root. 

If this helped you, please let us know in the comments below.